KYC History




The History of Ketewomoke Yacht Club
by Brielle Blatt and Samantha Palmer

Ketewomoke Yacht Club, founded in 1913, is widely known as the oldest yacht club of Huntington. Originally, the club was built on pilings, however it is now “dry docked” on a piece of land on New York Avenue in Huntington.

The Interior of the Yacht Club is remarkably intact. Original wall and ceiling treatments consist of elaborate tin ceilings and half walls with narrow vertical stained-wood wainscotting. The club has been beautifully maintained and conveys an authentic sense of what an early 20th century yacht club was like. The club building is the only yacht club in the Town of Huntington and its incorporated villages of this early date built as a yacht club and continuously used as such; it marks that period of Huntington’s history when the harbors shifted from sources of transportation and sites of industry to a more recreational focus, serving a burgeoning suburban class.

Not only is the building important both architecturally and a hallmark in Huntington’s development, but also it has close associations with the noted genre painter Arthur Dove. From 1929-1933 he lived in what is now the second-story entertainment room, a room he described as “full of light, about 30′ x 40’”. Many years later paintings and drawings by Dove were found in the clubhouse attic and donated to the Heckscher Museum.


Follow the timeline of Ketewomoke’s history through the Long Islander. . .

The Long Islander, August 1914

“Last Saturday afternoon the members of the Ketewomoke Yacht Club celebrated the opening of their new clubhouse, which has just been completed by Builder John Robbins. A large number of people gathered at the clubhouse, on the dock and in the balcony. The harbor seemed to bristle with crafts of all descriptions, each one prettily decorated with gayly colored flags, banners and hunting. The afternoon was perfect and everything seemed to combine to make the occasion one long to be remembered by the club members and their friends…An elaborate program of sports, which included a marine parade and all kinds of boat races and water events, had been prepared…at 2:30 o’ clock the boats to take part in the parade assembled in Buckwheat’s Cove. There were fifteen boats…All the boats were fully decorated with brightly colored flags and they offered a pretty spectacle as they proceeded up the harbor…As the parade passed the boats tooted their whistles…The first race of the afternoon was a hang-and-go-back race…The canoe races occupied the next place in the program…The swimming races were next…The diving and fetching contest was closely contested…The evening was devoted to a dance and reception, which was held in the clubhouse. A large number of the club members and their friends were present.”


Long Islander, September 1914

“The Ketewomoke Yacht Club will
hold its last clambake this season at
Buckheit’s Beach, Lloyds Harbor,
Tuesday afternoon, September 29.”


The Long Islander, May 1914

“…Showing the various funds, receipts, expenditures, under each with a summary of balances showing a total balance of $54,148.89 in the hands of the Supervisor at this date. All bills presented have been paid to date.”

It is important to notice that this document is from 1914, right amidst the time where the Yacht Club opened. The fact that there were large amounts of funds going towards the club demonstrates that Ketewomoke was prolific from the start.


The Long Islander, December 1916

“One of the most active motor boating
organizations on Long Island, yet one of which little is known, is the Ketewomoke
Yacht Club, of Huntington. The club has
inaugurated several novel contests…This
novel form of racing was tried on several
occasions last summer and worked well…”

Ketewomoke holds annual racing contests. This contributes
to the recreational development of the area and brings together
organizations from all over Long Island

The Long Islander, July 1916

The Long Islander, August 1937

“A Ladies’ Night was held by the members of the Ketewomoke Yacht Club on Wednesday, August 4…Motion pictures of the club cruise and other pictures were shown to the enjoyment of all those present. After the pictures the guests were invited to the porch where refreshments were served. Following the refreshments, the guests spent the remainder of the evening dancing. The club porch was beautifully decorated with a numerous array of lighted Japanese lanterns which presented a very pretty picture from the water.”

Ketewomoke has provided an outlet for women as it hosts numerous events for fun evenings and get-togethers. This document is derived from the Great Depression. Those who were suffering from economic hardships were given an opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves at the Yacht Club.

Ketewomoke has provided an outlet for women as it hosts numerous events for fun evenings and get-togethers. This document is derived from the Great Depression. Those who were suffering from economic hardships were given an opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves at the Yacht Club.

In 1944, a catastrophic hurricane hit Huntington Harbor, leaving the Ketewomoke Yacht Club in critical condition.

The Long Islander, September 1944

“A plan to protect harbor craft during severe storms and hurricanes by controlling specified areas in Huntington Harbor and requiring the owners of all craft moored there to observe certain specifications, is being considered by the Town Board at the request of Ketewomoke Yacht Club…D.S Tuthill and George Ryan, representing the club, reported to the Board on Tuesday that fifty per cent of the damage to boats in Huntington Harbor during the recent hurricane was due to the improper locations of the moorings…[The representatives explained their detailed plan of implementing a program for protection]…The Ketewomoke representatives urged the adoption of such a plan for the south end of Huntington Harbor. However, members of the Town Board referred the matter to executive session where an attempt will be made to work out a plan for the entire harbor.”

The Long Islander, April 1955

 “Ketewomoke’s membership is made up of local people who want less elaborate accommodations… [Ketewomoke Yacht Club] is bulging with memberships but also all of the commercial outlets, fishing stations etc., handling a capacity number are forced to turn people away. It seems to us that at this point the Town Board should step in as quickly as possible to create land facilities to accommodate the large number of people who are faced with the problem to get out to their moorings. This could be done rather easily and would not be an expense to the Town. People who want to moor boats are too glad to pay for land accommodations…Another problem which increased boating has created include policing and mooring regulations.”

Ketewomoke and its increasing membership have helped the development of the local area and its surrounding outlets.

“The annual outing of the Ketewomoke Yacht Club, Halesite, was held last weekend at Eaton’s Neck. Commodore Walter Lahmann termed the affair a “success” despite the bad weather which threatened all day.”

The Long Islander, August 1966
Ketewomoke Yacht Club enriches the local community by loaning a boat to young teenagers. Their first experience aboard a boat was fulfilling, as they viewed the Connecticut Shore and enjoyed the calm waters.

The Long Islander, May 1971

The Long Islander, April 1972

“Next Wednesday, May 3, the women’s auxiliary of the Ketewomoke Yacht Club in Huntington is sponsoring a fashion at the clubhouse. The clothes will be provided by Ann Culatraro, and the ladies of the club will model.”

The Long Islander, August 1972

Ketewomoke Yacht Club hosts their first clam bake, with many more to come.

The Long Islander, April 1973

The Long Islander, April 1972

“Among the club whose members are helping with the work of getting ship-shape and ready for commissioning the latter part of the May, are several well-known yachting groups located at the head of Huntington Harbor. [It is] the Ketewomoke Yacht Club…Ketewomoke is the oldest having been at its present location on the east side of Huntington Harbor for almost 60 years. Its white two-story clubhouse at the water’s edge is a very familiar landmark on the local scene…The Senior Flag Officer of Ketewomoke says, ‘Ours is kind of a marine grange. You might say we’re like a group of country marine folk, and everybody pitches in to help with the work.’ There are more than 70 members in the Ketewomoke Yacht Club. The vast majority of these are boat-owners, who moor their craft in an area right out from the clubhouse.”

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